Cloth Diapering On a Budget – Is This the Answer to Survive On One Income?

Pregnant and trying to work out the cost of having a baby? Then you may want to consider the option of cloth diapers and how this can save you a ton of money.

We dive in deeper and give you the details on how cloth diapering on a budget may be the answer to saving money or surviving on one income!

By the time you purchase all the necessary baby items, there is often little left for the diapering department. Yes, the initial cost can be expensive, but over the years you end up saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

What is a cloth diaper?

A cloth diaper originally was a square piece of linen cloth or cotton flannel. That would be folded a certain way and fastened with a safety pin.  Over the years the cloth diaper has developed and can range from a large linen cloth that you need to fold to a modern design that has been stitched up like a disposable diaper.

All you need to do is add a liner for that added leakage protection.

Benefits of a cloth diaper

cloth diapering on a budget

There are plenty of advantages of cloth diapers including:

  • Saving money in the long term
  • Cloth diapers contain no harmful chemicals or plastics
  • Less impact on the environment
  • Gentler on baby’s sensitive skin
  • Plenty of style options to find one that suits your baby the best

Here is a great article that explains the difference between cloth diaper vs. disposable diapers.

What do I need to purchase to start my cloth diaper collection?

This will all depend on the style of cloth diapering you intend to use.  Cloth diapers range from a flat piece of cotton material to a pre-fold or fitted diaper, so it is going to depend on what suits your lifestyle and fits your little one the best. Here is a link to a fabulous buying guide for cloth diapers that you will want to check out before you head out shopping!

We do recommend purchasing at least 12 cloth diapers to start your collection.

Let’s delve into the cost! have a great comparison of cost and explain that from the age of birth through to 2.5 years you are looking at spending on average $734 on cloth diapers as opposed to $2577 on disposable diapers.  That is a huge saving of $1843!

Cloth diapering on a budget – where can I buy them?

There are tons of stores and online shops that sell cloth diapers. However, to keep those costs low here are some suggestions of places you can buy them from at discount prices:

  • often sells cloth diapers with amazing discounts – so be sure to check them out!
  • Craiglist
  • Ebay
  • Facebook – search baby groups or cloth diapering groups for people selling them at a discount price
  • Search your local thrift stores
  • Borrow cloth diapers from a friend or family member who no longer require them for their children
  • Baby shower gift – let your baby shower organizer know that you would love cloth diapers as a gift.  An idea may be that each guest brings a set as their gift!
  • Keep an eye on and for diaper specials
  • Browse your local community forum or baby website for anyone who may be selling or offering free cloth diapers

But what about the washing cost – that must add up, right?

Yes, it does add up but see that average figure above of $734? That includes the washing cost!

How long do cloth diapers last?

Depending on how many diapers you will determine how long they will last. If you have around 10 cloth diapers and are washing them every second day, then they will not last as long as if you had 20 or 30 and only washing them every fourth or fifth day. As a guide newborns will use around 12-14 diapers a day; Infants will use around 9 – 11 diapers per day and toddlers can use anywhere between 5 -8 per day.

If you take good care of your cloth diapers, then you will find that they will last a long time and through subsequent children.

Can I make cloth diapers?

cloth diapering on a budget

Absolutely! If you are handy with a sewing machine (or know someone who is) and can get your hands on some super absorbent material, then you may find this to be an excellent way to save a little extra money. have a fantastic tutorial video that includes the patterns to make a hybrid fitted diaper – check it out!  Don’t forget to search Pinterest for other DIY Cloth Diaper ideas.

Does cloth diapering work to your budget?

Now that we have provided cloth diapering details and an average cost comparison hopefully it will help you to make that informed decision on whether cloth diapering on a budget is your families solution to surviving on a tight budget!

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